COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9-ranked Ohio State women’s ice hockey team rallied late in the third period to sweep St. Lawrence with a 3-2 victory. With the win, Ohio State improves to 2-0 (0-0 WCHA) and St. Lawrence dips to 0-2 (0-0 ECAC). The Saints opened the scoring in the second period and held the lead until the final minute of the contest. With the Saints leading 2-1 and time ticking down, Ohio State pulled goaltender Andrea Braendli to give the Buckeyes one last push. With 1:04 remaining, sophomore defender Madison Bizal scored her first career goal to tie the game at two all. Just eights seconds later, Tatum Skaggs found linemate Emma Maltais for the go-ahead goal.
Head coach Nadine Muzerall on the excitement from the bench
“It’s nice when I’m standing on the bench and I look to my right and see Emily West who I coached at Minnesota and I look left and I see Milica McMillen who I coached at Minnesota and it’s just three women empowering young women. When we score, the excitement that I see in them gets me pretty excited that they’re all in.”
The Nitty Gritty
Ohio State 3, St. Lawrence 2
Once again the Buckeyes brought the intensity from the opening faceoff. The Scarlet and Gray spent the first five minutes on offense as the Saints struggled to put together a successful breakout. With six minutes gone, Ohio State went a man up but couldn’t convert on the two minute minor. Redshirt defender Jincy Dunne fired a shot from the blue line as time ticked away on the power play but the Saints’ freshman goaltender Lucy Morgan made the stop. After going back to even strength the Saints had their turn in the offensive zone and edged the Bucks 3-2 in shots with eight minutes remaining in the first. The Buckeyes finished the period with a man advantage as Brittney Gout was sent to the box for hooking.
The Saints opened the period with a quick shot from Gout but Braendli was there to make her 10th save of the day. Both teams exchanged shots in the opening minutes as Bizal had a chance from inside the zone to tally the Buckeyes’ seventh shot of the contest. Sophie Jaques put up a shot of her own moments later but Morgan was there again with the save. The Saints broke the stalemate just under five minutes into the period with a quick shot at the post by senior forward Dakota Golde. Less than two minutes later freshman defender Teghan Inglis answered with her first career goal that soared past Morgan high blocker side. The goal was assisted by fellow freshman Brooke Bink and sophomore Gabby Rosenthal.
Tatum Skaggs had her best chance of the day and nearly gave the Bucks the advantage as she shook off two defenders and broke free for a quick shot. Ohio State was awarded its third power play of the day but couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage. Just as time expired on the power play, St. Lawrence senior Kayla Vespa picked out the upper corner to put the Saints ahead 2-1. A late surge of momentum by the Buckeyes gave them the advantage in shots, 25-16 going into the second intermission.
After a second period surge by the Saints, the Buckeyes took control of the final third of the contest. It wasn’t until the second half of the period that both teams exchanged their best scoring chances as Inglis broke up a 2 on 1 and gave Skaggs a chance of her own on the other end. After a quick series of events, Braendli made a crucial point blank save to keep the Ohio State deficit to one.
The intensity picked up with under five minutes to play as Ohio State pulled Braendli around the three minute mark. With time ticking down, the Buckeyes settled into their offensive zone for a final push. Nearing a minute left to play, Skaggs sent a pass to sophomore defender Madison Bizal who put away her first career goal to tie the game. Just eight seconds after the faceoff, Skaggs once again proved to be seasoned playmaker as she found Maltais for the go ahead goal with 56 seconds on the clock.
Ohio State will begin conference play on the road as it takes on St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn. The teams will face off at 7:07 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 4 and 3:07 p.m. ET Saturday, Oct. 5 in the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.